Creativity

Got Notes? (Part 2)

By on November 5th, 2015

More sketchnoting tipssketch – note
/skeCH nōt/

Noun
1. A substantially awesome method for taking notes that is easy, fun, and does not require drawing ability (stick figures welcome!)

Verb
2. Combining doodles and notes and increasing your memory retention by transferring an idea from your head to the paper!

This definition summarizes some of what we learned in part one of this series. Continue reading


Writing Clicks as a Means to Express Oneself

By on October 22nd, 2015

This is one of several posts celebrating Connected Educator Month during the month of October. October 20th is National Day on Writing and we are joining The National Council of Teachers of English to celebrate how writing helps us connect. Join the #WhyIWrite and #CE15 discussions on Twitter to share your thoughts!

National Day on Writing - October 20I’m happy when I’m writing or thinking of ideas about what to write.

I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. How lucky I was to find this out about myself while still in school!

You see, after reading a poem I wrote, my second grade teacher, Mrs. Kast, said to me “Suzan, you’re a writer.”

I still remember those words of encouragement, although that is now thirty-something years ago. That praise not only boosted my spirit, it stuck with me my whole life. I began to create, theme, and express myself in many different styles of writing. My friends knew I would always carry paper and pen wherever I went, because you never know when creativity will strike! Continue reading


Writing: A Family Affair

By on October 20th, 2015

This is one of several posts celebrating Connected Educator Month during the month of October. October 20th is National Day on Writing and we are joining The National Council of Teachers of English to celebrate how writing helps us connect. Join the #WhyIWrite and #CE15 discussions on Twitter to share your thoughts!

As we celebrate the National Day on Writing today, what better way to encourage our younger writers than by getting them involved in daily family routines that involve writing!

When my daughter was younger, she helped me write our grocery list every week. She loved using the “special” checklist notepaper I kept on the fridge and writing the words she already knew (milk, juice, apples, cereal). For new words, I encouraged her to “sound it out” and write it the way she heard it.

Now that she’s older, we take it a step further and have her be in charge of the list – checking off each item as we pick them from the shelves at the store. Continue reading


#WhyIWrite – National Day on Writing

By on October 17th, 2015

This is one of several posts celebrating Connected Educator Month during the month of October. October 20th is National Day on Writing and we are joining The National Council of Teachers of English to celebrate how writing helps us connect. Join the #WhyIWrite and #CE15 discussions on Twitter to share your thoughts!

National Day on WritingI taught Language Arts and English for many years.

As far back as I can remember, I have loved the English language. Having the opportunity to teach my passion was truly such a gift. Part of teaching English was teaching writing. And that by far was one of my greatest joys. Passing on a passion for writing to my students has always been an important goal for me. So dedicating an entire day to the celebration that is writing, well, that’s pretty special to me. This year we will celebrate “National Day on Writing,” on October 20th. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Why I Write.”

I write for so many reasons. I write to tether intangible emotions to something as concrete as words. I write to inspire, to grow, to change. I believe that language is a powerful tool and shaping it into phrases to share my story makes a difference. Continue reading


Got Notes?

By on September 17th, 2015

sketchnotingPicture this:
You are in front of your screen, you have logged into your live lesson, and your instructor is about to start.

He or she reminds you to “take notes!” You find yourself unprepared, so you either open a Word document (which by the end of the lesson remains basically blank) or you hastily gather a pen and a paper napkin left in your room from last night’s pizza. At the end of the lesson, you barely have a few notes and the main idea of today’s lesson eludes you like the ghost of Christmas past…

Sigh…sound familiar? Continue reading


Writer’s Block? What NOT to Do

By on March 24th, 2015

writers blockWe all can relate to the moment when you’re writing – or sit down to write – and then boom, you have no idea what to tell your fingers to do; you’re just blank.

It’s the writer’s worst enemy and can be the hardest, and rarely the easiest, thing to get over. We would do anything to get back on track and out of this torturous, uncreative state. We stare at blank sheets waiting for things to happen and bang our head into the wall repeatedly thinking our brain just needs a kick start. If you’ve done these things, we’re not judging, but…maybe it’s not the best way to handle the situation.

Here are some do-nots that, if you resort to them, could resort to the demise of your story; but he’ll most likely live, I promise. Continue reading


The Creativity Conundrum

By on September 10th, 2014

scared to make mistakes cover
When Did Students Become So Scared to Make Mistakes?

Directions: Please read the following article. At the end of the article you will be asked to give your opinion regarding creativity in schools. You will be expected to provide a response that shows thinking outside the box and is worthy of a Nobel Prize. No pressure. Think Creatively. Continue reading


Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (3 of 3)

By on July 22nd, 2014

museumEnrichment Activities for Families

This is part three of a three-part FLVS Virtual Voice blog series about enriching activities that will keep students learning all summer long. Part one shared enriching opportunities that can be found at your local public library. Part two focused on Geocaching. This post (part three) is all about art.

This summer, in between the barbeques and fun in the sun, take a moment to soak in the enriching art and cultural activities of your community.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

Continue reading


Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (2 of 3)

By on July 18th, 2014

geocachingEnrichment Activities for Families

It’s summer! In between the summer camps, pool parties, and lazy summer days, I encourage parents to add one more activity to their summer calendar: enrichment.

In part one of this three-part Virtual Voice blog series, I shared enrichment opportunities that could be found at your local public library.

For part two, I will be sharing another enriching activity that will keep students learning all summer long: geocaching. Continue reading


Keep Them Learning All Summer Long (1 of 3)

By on July 16th, 2014

libraryEnrichment Activities for Families

In this three-part FLVS Virtual Voice blog series, I will share enriching activities to keep students learning all summer long.

As our children enjoy the long days of summer vacation, parents all over the country have been hyperventilating as they fill 10 weeks of play dates, summer camps, pool parties, and weekend family adventures.  It’s enough to make even the most seasoned parent’s eyes glaze over.  As an educator I encourage parents to add one more activity to their summer calendar: enrichment.

Now wait!

Continue reading